Why is HIIT most effective training for time-poor people?

HIIT is a short sharp workout style that’s supposed to help you shred fat fast and build muscle in the process. But is HIIT really worth it?

HIIT is a session where you work really hard for a short amount of time. Typical classes will be about 30 minutes, but definitely under 45 minutes.


There was a Japanese researcher by the name of Tabata. He did research and took two groups of people who had to train for six weeks and five sessions a week.

One group trained for 30 minutes a day at about 70% of their heart rate, so moderate intensity, and the other group trained for four minutes a day, as hard as they could. At the end of the six weeks, anaerobically, aerobically, and in the best news, fat loss was greater in the four-minute group.

The typical Tabata protocol is 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. If you do that eight times, that’s four minutes, you should be absolutely stuffed. But there are other ways you can do it. Tabata is just one way of including HIIT training.


In 1968, Kenneth Cooper wrote a book called Aerobics, and that’s where we got the name and typical class.

If you think about today and talk about someone being fit, we say, “He runs 5K”, “She often runs marathons” or “He trains two hours a day”… We always talk about volume.

Researchers said, “Wait a second. 1) people are time-poor 2)  there are massive, massive benefits for training very intensely.”

If we think back to our human history, a lot of our training was very low intensity. We were gathering and hunting. And when there was a war or fighting then for short bursts of time, we were sprinting.


And that’s what we’re missing from a lot of today’s life. We just don’t have that high-intensity training in our daily schedule. As we get more advanced and more comfortable, and less fit, it becomes more important to embrace this high-intensity interval training.

So, who might be interested in this kind of training? Someone who is wanting to lose weight, or someone who’s wanting to get stronger, or both?

The short answer is both. I would say everyone needs to fit two to three HIIT sessions into their training or their week somehow. Two to three sessions, very high intensity.

We use it for our athletes and clients who are trying to gain some muscle or lose fat. It suits well for people who are time-poor.

A lot of commercial gyms look at the pump class, and that’s not quite it. You should be pretty stuffed at the end of it. In fact, in our gym, we say that if you can train for more than 45 minutes, you’re not training hard enough. And for the HIIT it’s usually about 30 minutes.

It’s really good for starting out and from a health perspective, we’re going to see more and more research coming out and saying that we need more of HIIT in our lives.